Yep, you read that right. It is indeed a cake that has blue cheese in it and it is not a savoury one either. I came across this recipe in a book I bought recently on Auvergne cuisine. It is a small book full of recipes for dishes you’ll find in any local eatery here. Having lived here for a decent amount of time over the last year, we’re both totally in love with this region of France. As we keep reading more about its history and explore more of the local cuisine, it only keeps getting interesting.
While the book has a collection of quite a few unique and possibly even bizarre recipes (whole chicken cooked in a pig’s stomach lining anyone?), it reflects the hearty, hardy fare that the locals made their own in order to survive the harsh winters and long days out tending cattle and fields. While I’m not going to try chicken’s blood or pig’s hooves anytime soon and while I do love the local sausages and lentils or potatoes cooked with cheese dishes, I decided to first try out this interesting cake.
This recipe seems to have originated in the Hautes Chaumes area where the local mild blue cheese called fourme d’Ambert (one of France’s oldest cheeses) is still produced. Having never used blue cheese in a normal cake recipe before, we were eager to see how it would turn out. I must say we were pleasantly surprised (otherwise I wouldn’t be sharing it here!). The cheese adds a tangy salty flavour to the sweetness that comes from the blueberries and they balance each other out perfectly. A cinch to make and a lovely treat for your afternoon cup of tea or coffee.
If you cannot find the exact same cheese, you can of course try any other mild blue cheese in its place.
Blue Cheese & Blueberry Cake (original recipe from a local recipe book)
3 large eggs
250g self raising flour
a pinch of salt
175g butter, melted
150g fourme d’Ambert or any other mild blue cheese crumbled into small pieces
200g fresh blueberries
Preheat the oven to 180C (conventional). Grease and line a standard sized loaf tin and set aside. You may also use a smallish round cake tin instead. Beat the eggs with the sugar in a large mixing bowl until pale and fluffy. Sift in the flour and pinch of salt. Add the melted butter followed by the cheese. Mix everything together. Finally fold in the blueberries taking care not to crush them.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin. Place it in the oven and bake for about 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Remove tin from oven and let it cool on a wire rack before turning the cake out.
Serve generous slices and enjoy the wonderful combination of tangy cheese with sweet tart blueberries. You’ll definitely be asking for more!